Opening to Stillness

in the landscapes of nature

Combining nature immersion with mindfulness practice since 2003

“When we enter a natural landscape with mindful awareness, our hearts open to love, our mind quietens and our spirit soars. This connection inspires us to live more in harmony with our beautiful and fragile earth.” 

~Mark Coleman

Background & History

Awake in the Wild (AitW) was founded by Mark Coleman — a leading mindfulness meditation teacher, nature guide, and author.  Mark published the seminal nature meditation book, Awake in the Wild, in 2006, with an introduction by Jack Kornfield.

Mark has led AITW retreats and programs since 2003 in the U.S., Canada, Alaska, Europe, and Australia. He leads  AitW teacher trainings in the U.S. and Europe. He has now trained over 70 teachers to lead their own AitW programs across the U.S, Canada, Europe, and beyond.

About The Practice

Awake in the Wild (AitW) programs focus on everything from opening the heart to joy to healing grief to engaging in environmental activism. While some of our programs are hosted online, AitW teachers have led mindfulness-based nature retreats in breathtaking settings across the globe — from the coast of Baja, Mexico, to the mountains of Peru, to the desert canyons of the South-West.

AitW retreats include a wide variety of contemplative activities like hiking, backpacking, forest bathing, kayaking, river rafting, cross-country skiing, rowing, canoeing, and more.

The Benefits of Nature Meditation

Nature immersion pulls us away from technology, out of our anxious minds, and into the rich beauty of the present moment. Attending to the subtle fragrance of flowers, the light in a grassy meadow, or the flowing movement of a river can relax, refresh, or enliven us.

Nature meditation can allow us to:

  • Access feelings of peace, joy, wonder, love, and well-being
  • Gain spiritual insights and wisdom
  • Remember the preciousness and fragility of all life
  • Reconnect with ourselves, the earth, and our place in the web of life
  • Cultivate love and care and engaged action for the earth

A few words from AitW founder – Mark Coleman

The Key Elements of AitW


Present moment awareness

Mindfulness refers to being aware, a natural ability to be fully attentive in the present moment. When you practice mindfulness, you become aware of your inner and outer experience with clarity and insight. Modern research reveals this ancient practice of mindfulness can reduce stress levels, increase our ability to focus, manage emotional reactivity, and improve our well-being. 
With skilled guidance from Awake in the Wild teachings and practices, you can learn to develop mindfulness in nature that is both accessible and joyful, giving you the ability to cultivate awareness anywhere.


Celebrating inter-dependence

We live increasingly independent lives, cut off from one another in our cars, cubicles, and condos. When we consciously spend time in nature, we reconnect to the earth’s intricate web of life and its miraculous flora and fauna. The illusion of separation begins to fall away. Through mindfulness in nature, we can forge deep connections with ourselves, with all living beings, and with the Earth herself. Our AitW teaching community is dedicated to helping people awaken to their interconnectedness with all life. And by connecting to these practices you also join a worldwide community of nature-inspired meditators!

Love for the Earth

We protect what we love

The earth is our greatest teacher; she reminds us of the beauty and fragility of all life. As we face a growing ecological crisis, it is crucial we have a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, our natural home and its myriad species and life forms. The more intimately we connect to the earth, the more inspired we are to care for the beautiful yet delicate ecosystems and species. AitW teachers are connected by their passion for the natural world, their interest in helping preserve and protect nature, and a desire to share that passion with you.


Nature is often so quiet and still. We are drawn to her serenity and peace. One of the distinguishing features of AitW practice is our retreats mirror the quietude of nature. We draw on a rich contemplative silence that supports our minds to quiet down and our hearts to open to a deeper connection with the natural world.


Cultivating mindfulness outdoors facilitates a deeper understanding and insight into ourselves, and into the wisdom that nature perennially reveals. In AitW, we consider nature to be a supreme teacher, one that has inspired all wisdom teachers and traditions. Mindful nature practice helps open you to the natural world’s profound wisdom.

“I feel like a different person. I feel completely at peace, very happy, to the core of my being.”

~ AitW retreat participant